Springtime in the Rockies: There's a blizzard of fun activities around town this week, including fashion shows, comedy nights, and Opening Day parties that spill far outside of Coors Field. Here are 21 of the best things to do in Denver:
Tuesday, April 4
The city is looking good! Massif Fashion Week kicks off on Tuesday, April 4, with a free showcase presenting one look from each of the designers who’ll participate in the weeklong fashion celebration at Massif Studios, 2191 South Broadway. Through April 9, the studio will host an event every night from 7 to 10 p.m., starting with a cocktail hour followed by a short film presentation and then a runway display at 8 p.m. with ready-to-wear and couture collections. The week is designed as a platform for local, national and international designers and brands; for the complete lineup and ticket information, go to massiffashionweek.com.
History and food buffs alike will appreciate The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, From the Washingtons to the Obamas, the new book by James Beard award-winning Denver author Adrian Miller. AT 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 4 at the Tattered Cover Colfax, the writer will discuss and sign copies of his book, which tells the stories of the African Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards and servers for every president since George Washington. Get the details at tatteredcover.com.
Curious Theatre Company is dedicated to producing new and provocative work that sends audiences out into the world still thinking about what they’ve seen. When Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, moved by the 2016 election and the new America it heralded, wrote Building the Wall in the weeks leading up to the inauguration, Curious, which often works with the National New Play Network to present rolling premieres with other companies across the nation, snatched the finished play for an unplanned addition to its season. The show, which imagines what might happen if Trump’s full border wall and uncensored immigration policies come to be, opens at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, and runs in repertory with Constellations through April 19. For information and tickets, $25 (or $200 on opening night, which includes a discussion with the playwright), go to curioustheatre.org. Most shows are followed by discussions with different advocacy groups, including the ACLU and the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network.
Wednesday, April 5
Cirque Kitchen + Spirits is chef Brandon Becker’s modernist restaurant pop-up that promises “a creative, interactive” dining experience. Becker is teaming up with the GrowHaus, 4751 York Street, on Wednesday, April 5, for Formation One Dinner, a seasonal, five-course tasting dinner complete with a cocktail social hour. The dinner will be set inside the GrowHaus’s 20,000-square-foot greenhouse, and guests will learn about the facility’s mission to provide healthy and inexpensive food for the neighborhood. A portion of each $75 ticket will be donated to the GrowHaus. Cocktails will be served starting at 5 p.m., with dinner to follow at 6. Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com, and more information about the GrowHaus can be found at thegrowhaus.org.
Boulder wants to know what people expect from their library. So as the Boulder Public Library forges ahead on a new master plan, it’s inviting members of the public to put in their two cents or so, beginning with Library Lab, a two-day participatory installation designed to engage community feedback. From 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, April 5 and 6, at the main library, 1001 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, folks of all ages can drop by for ideation jam sessions with musician facilitators or exchange ideas for free haircuts at an Idea Barter Station. These and all other related activities are free, but your takeaway could be a better library — eventually. Get details and learn more about the BPL’s Master Plan at boulderlibrary.
Thursday, April 6
There’s nothing more quintessentially Colorado than quaffing craft beer in the company of a canine companion, a proud tradition celebrated at the Dumb Friends League’s Yappy Hour series, which continues Thursday, April 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Comrade Brewing, 7667 East Iliff Avenue. There you can dive into Comrade’s tap list of award-winning brews while munching on food-truck cuisine; you can also enter a sweepstakes giveaway with prizes sure to delight pets and owners alike. Keepsake pint glasses are available for $10 each, with proceeds going toward the care of homeless pets; $1 from every beer sold will also be donated. The theme is “April Fool’s Gold,” and you and your pet — yes, leashed and well-mannered dogs are welcome — are invited to dress up in your glitziest gold gear. Visit ddfl.org/yappyhour to learn more.
Art touches the heart. That will quickly become clear at the Metro Volunteers Heart of Volunteerism fundraiser, which starts at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. Poet and activist Amal Kassir, who’s featured in a new Westword video, and Phamaly Theatre Company director Regan Linton will discuss how the arts can bring us together. The evening will also include a volunteer fair so that you can sign on to do your bit; for inspiration, look to Todd and Nancy Bacon, who’ll be given a lifetime achievement award from Metro Volunteers. VIP tickets, $125, include a special reception; regular tickets are $75. Find more information at metrovolunteers.org/hov.
If you think paper fashion means donning a grocery sack, think again. The Art Directors Club of Denver’s annual Paper Fashion Show disproves that notion with an event that displays plenty of ingenuity and style, through one-of-a-kind creations conceived by teams of design-industry colleagues. The garments, fashioned entirely of paper that’s been cut, curled, shredded, folded, braided, painted, woven, crumpled and molded, will take to the runway at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at the Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Proceeds from the ADCD Paper Fashion Show benefit Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, which provides arts and vocational education to at-risk children. Tickets range from $65 to $135, with three levels and discounts for ADCD members; find admission information and tickets online at adcd.com.
5th Wall Productions, a nonprofit theater company dedicated to producing new and original works, continues its third season with Life Lessons, a world premiere of a comedy by Denver playwright Roberto Martinez. In Life Lessons, you’ll meet professor Sidney Raven, highly overeducated in impractical subjects, whose students learn about life and being human in the Trump era from his classroom rants. As an added attendance incentive, 5th Wall will pair every performance during the three-week run with a changing roster of musical and comedic opening acts. Life Lessons opens on Thursday, April 6; the 8 p.m. curtain time is preceded by a set from Denver folk musician Paul Ski. Shows continue Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through April 22 at the Bakery, 2132 Market Street. For tickets, just $15, go to 5th-wall-productions.ticketleap.com.
Keep reading for more events this week.
Friday, April 7
You don’t need to be inside Coors Field to enjoy Opening Day. On Friday, April 7, the area around the ballpark will be filled with parties that are sure to be a hit — even if the Colorado Rockies don’t get many. For starters, Mexico City Lounge, at 2115 Larimer Street, will open at 9 a.m. so you can build a good base of fried tacos; it will stay open late (for Mexico City), until 5 p.m. Stoic & Genuine will host a patio party outside of Union Station from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, complete with “grab and go” sausages from Euclid Hall, fish-and-chips hoagies, beer from Diebolt Brewing, and Denver’s best oysters, served grilled. And up the hill, at Avanti Food & Beverage, happy hour will run from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with drink specials. Coors Field is walking distance from Avanti, 3200 Pecos Street, but you might want to stay put, drinking in the sun on the patio and gazing off at the ballpark.
Journalist Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, has long championed underrepresented voices, questioned people in power and shed light on human-rights abuses worldwide. Her Media Is Not the Enemy Tour will stop in Denver on Friday, April 7; Goodman will speak about the value of maintaining a robust independent media — particularly in light of the current president’s diatribes against journalists — and also help raise funds for public-access television station Denver Open Media and community radio station KFFR 88.3. Goodman takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $100 for VIP access; for more information, go to denveropenmedia.org.
In D-town, slam poets start young and are raised by a supportive slam community; it’s one reason that Denver is now an anchor city for the National Poetry Slam. Denver’s Minor Disturbance Youth Poetry Slam helps mold winning teams and voices that deepen with maturity; it helped shape the city’s first two appointed Youth Poet Laureates, Toluwanimi Obiwole and Ayla Sullivan. Both will perform as featured poets at the youth team’s biggest event of the year — the Minor Disturbance Grand Slam, a citywide showdown that determines which six poets will represent Denver at the twentieth annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in San Francisco in July. Get an earful from the under-21 crowd from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 7, at the McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue; it’s a great preamble to the 2017 NPS, going down in Denver in August. For tickets, $7 to $10, visit eventbrite.com.
Like book clubs and gallery nights? Get a taste of each when Art + Lit, a collaborative series from the Art Students League of Denver and Lighthouse Writers Workshop, hosts Art + Lit: Soliloquy and Americanah, a double presentation pairing two locals — author Carleen Brice (Orange Mint and Honey and Lead Me Home: An African American’s Guide Through the Grief Journey) and sculptor/educator Ella Maria Ray — in a discussion comparing and contrasting the novel Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the story of a Nigerian émigré living in America, and the artwork of Moyo Ogundipe, a Nigerian now living in Denver who draws upon Yoruba culture in his artwork. It helps if you come prepared, but it’s not necessary to have read the book. Get lit at 6 p.m. Friday, April 7, at Lighthouse, 1515 Race Street; tickets are $10 and available online at lighthousewriters.org or at the door.
Saturday, April 8
The Passover story of the exodus from Egypt is a tale of refugees, more than anything, and one made more poignant this year by the desperate diasporas now taking place around a world wracked by strife. Denver’s Temple Micah invited refugees from Project Worthmore, a local organization providing services for immigrants, to join congregation members and the public for Refugee Storytelling, a morning of shared stories of exodus that will put everyone in the mood for celebrating freedom and/or breaking matzohs at next week’s seders. Join immigrants and families of immigrants at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at Temple Micah, 5209 Montview Boulevard; for more information, go to micahdenver.org.
Marc Maron toiled for decades as a comic before taking the podcasting world by storm with the genre-defining WTF, where he welcomed everyone from comedians and rock stars to President Barack Obama into his garage, cultivating a uniquely fearless interview style that earned him millions of loyal listeners. The resurgent Maron has since appeared on every chat-show staple and released two one-hour specials, Thinky Pain and More Later. His acting career has similarly flourished: He made memorable appearances on Girls, Louie and Easy, his eponymous IFC show Maron ran for four seasons, and he has an ensemble role in the upcoming Netflix series G.L.O.W. Now Maron — whose standup grows more vital the less he has to prove — is on his Too Real tour, which will land at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 8. Tickets, $35 to $45, are available from Altitude Tickets.
Govnr’s Park Tavern, at 672 Logan Street, has been serving the surrounding neighborhood with good cheer and lots of beer for more than forty years. And for the past seven years, even more brews have flowed during the annual Govnr’s Park Beer Fest. The fest will be back at the bar from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, for its eighth annual addition. More than 100 different beers will be poured for only $20 per person; proceeds will be donated to Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods (CHUN). Call the restaurant at 303-831-8605 for more information; tickets can be purchased by visiting Govnr’s Park Tavern in person.
Flash fiction peels off all the layers that usually make Stories on Stage performances so compelling: Because the works tend to get right to the point, there’s no room for actors to craft dramatic build-up as they read them to the audience. But Buntport’s innovative company members are used to taking funny twists and unexpected turns; that’s what they do, and they do it well. SOS’s Very Short Stories: International program should provide Buntport’s quick thinkers with perfect fodder for their shtick, which they’ll no doubt execute with wit and hilarity — or whatever mood is required. See Buntport’s flash-fiction foray at 1:30 or 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive; get tickets, $15 to $28, at storiesonstage.org or call 303-494-0523.
Just as going to the prom is a rite of passage, one that signals the end of innocence and the beginning of adult life, so is the Catamounts’ Prom Night — a blowout fundraiser for the Boulder theater company’s 2017-2018 season. Dust off your prom gowns and tuxes, slough off the past and look forward to the future with the Catamounts at a glittery evening with all the right props, from the balloon-arch photo op to the spiked punch, as well as spins by DJ Sosan. While you party, you’ll learn what’s coming next from the Catamounts, who will announce season details at the event. Have a smashing (or possibly smashed) evening at Prom Night, from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 8, in the Carsen Theater at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. Tickets are $50 to $55 in advance at tickets.thedairy.org or $65 at the door; visit thecatamounts.org to keep up with company news.
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Things are changing for many arts organizations, and nowhere is this more evident than in the world of DIY filmmaking. Artists who still work with photochemical film are finding depleted film stocks and few labs to process newly shot works. But freshly minted nonprofit Process Reversal aims to remove those obstacles, finding new ways for artists to create and develop film and helping to reinvigorate the experimental-film community around the globe. All revolutions require money, though, and so the local organization is hosting its first fundraiser, called Time + Space. The event will include showings of works by members of Process Reversal, as well as performances by music masters Kevin Costner Suicide Pact, Entrancer and more. Get in focus from 7 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at PlatteForum, 2400 Curtis Street, for a suggested donation of $5 to $15. Learn more and grab your tickets at processreversal.org.
One Night Stand Theater specializes in limited-run revues that pair new works with intriguing takes on the classics. This round, the company has organized a show around the theme of travel adventures, and members will present Trains & Planes: Voyages by Air and Rail for one night only at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 9, at Aurora’s Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton Street. Trains and Planes will take you on a journey through a well-curated list of one-act plays, folk songs and ghost stories; actors will be reading works by Ross Peter Nelson, Beth Foster, Leslie Lewis and more. Call 303-724-4959 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve tickets, $10
Monday, April 10
Brent Gill, a boisterous paragon of the Denver comedy scene for close to a decade, has been delighting area stoners and MILFs alike with his raunchy jokes. While some of Gill’s efforts, such as the now-defunct Marijuana Radio and the stage name “Brent the Great” have gone the way of the black rhino, his standup shows are thriving. Comedy Works regulars may recognize Gill from his InFauxmation! or Love in the Works theme showcases; he’s now become one of the rare Denver comics to headline at his home club. Get your fill of Gill at 8 p.m. Monday, April 10, at the downtown Comedy Works, 1226 15th Street. Tickets are $14; call 303-595-3637 or visit comedyworks.com to get yours.
Find even more to do on our calendar.